Fly, Drive, Discover: Navigating the Route to Disneyland, California

Our family has had the pleasure of exploring numerous destinations with my loved ones. However, there’s one place that always stands out – Disneyland California. This magical place is not just a theme park; it’s a world of its own, filled with enchanting experiences, thrilling rides, and unforgettable memories. But before you pack your bags and set off on this exciting adventure, there are a few things you need to know. This guide will provide you with all the essential information from its exact location, closest airports, the best ways to get there, parking, what to do, where to stay, and so much more to make your trip to Disneyland California as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Location and Distance

Where is Disneyland California?

Disneyland, the original Disney theme park, is located in the city of Anaheim, California. Anaheim is part of Orange County, which is situated in Southern California. The exact address of Disneyland is 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, United States. It’s not in Los Angeles or San Diego, as some might think, but it’s close enough to both cities to make it a convenient destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway. This makes it a central point of attraction for both locals and tourists alike.

It also makes Disneyland extremely close to many Anaheim accommodations and amenities.

How Far is Disneyland from Major Cities?

Disneyland is conveniently located in Southern California, making it easily accessible from several major cities.

If you’re coming from Los Angeles, you’re in for a short trip as Disneyland is approximately 26 miles away, which translates to about a 40-minute drive without traffic.

From San Diego, the distance increases to about 96 miles, which is roughly a 1 hour and 45-minute drive.

If you’re coming from farther away, don’t worry. There are several airports nearby that offer flights from all over the country and even internationally.

Getting to Disneyland

Closest Airports to Disneyland

If you’re flying into California, there are several airports near Disneyland.  John Wayne is the closest but which is best airport for Disneyland California might depend on your specific needs.

John Wayne Airport (SNA): This is the closest airport to Disneyland, located just 14 miles away. It’s a smaller airport compared to others in the region, which can mean fewer crowds and shorter lines. Several major airlines operate out of SNA, including Southwest, United, and American Airlines. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to reach Disneyland. Some hotels in the area also offer shuttle services.

Long Beach Airport (LGB): Located about 18 miles from Disneyland, LGB is another great option. It’s a small airport, which can make for a more relaxed travel experience. JetBlue, Delta, and Southwest are among the airlines that operate from this airport. Similar to SNA, car rentals, taxis, and ride-sharing services are available to take you to Disneyland.

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): As one of the busiest airports in the world, LAX offers the most flight options. It’s located approximately 33 miles from Disneyland. While it can be a bit more hectic than the smaller airports, its wide range of flights might make it the most convenient option for you. From LAX, you can rent a car or use a shuttle service, taxi, or ride-sharing service to reach Disneyland.

Driving to Disneyland

If you’re within driving distance, getting to Disneyland by car is a convenient option. Disneyland is easily accessible from several major highways, including I-5, I-405, and Highway 91. If you’re coming from Los Angeles, you’ll likely take I-5 South, while those coming from San Diego will take I-5 North. From the east, you’ll likely use Highway 91.

Disneyland – Where to Park

The park offers ample parking at the Disneyland Resort. The Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures are the two main parking areas for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The parking fee is currently $25 per day for cars and motorcycles, and $30 for oversized vehicles, motor homes, and tractors without a trailer. For those who prefer a closer spot, preferred parking is available for $40 per day. Parking lots open an hour before the earliest Disneyland Park opening time, ensuring you have plenty of time to park and make your way to the entrance.

Mickey and Friends and Pixar Pals Parking to Disneyland

Public Transportation

If you’re staying in the Los Angeles area and prefer not to drive, public transportation is a viable option. The Los Angeles Metro offers bus and rail services that can get you close to Disneyland. From there, you can take the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) shuttle, which serves hotels and attractions in the Anaheim area, including Disneyland.

Disneyland ART shuttle
Disneyland ART shuttle

Shuttle Services

Several shuttle services operate between local airports and Disneyland. These can be a convenient option, as they drop you off right at the entrance to the parks. Companies like the Disneyland Resort Express, SuperShuttle, and Prime Time Shuttle offer services between Disneyland and both SNA and LAX. Prices vary depending on the service and the airport.

Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate throughout Southern California and can be a convenient way to get to Disneyland. This can be a good option if you prefer not to drive or if you’re looking for a direct route to the park. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate based on demand, so it might be more expensive during peak travel times.

Size and Layout of Disneyland

Disneyland California is a vast and magical place, spanning a total of approximately 500 acres. This includes both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, each offering its unique charm and array of attractions.

In both parks, the layout is designed to make it easy for visitors to find their way around. Detailed maps are available at the entrance of each park, and you can also download the Disneyland app for an interactive map and real-time information about wait times, showtimes, and more.

What to Do at Disneyland

Now that you arrived, what’s there to do.

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Disneyland Park, the original theme park, is filled with classic attractions, beloved Disney Characters, magical entertainment, and parades. Here, you’ll find iconic attractions like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The fun continues throughout the other unique lands you’ll find within the park, such as Adventureland, Critter Country, Frontierland, Mickey’s Toontown, and New Orleans Square.

Disneyland California

Disney California Adventure Park, on the other hand, is divided into eight exciting lands: Buena Vista Street, Grizzly Peak, Pacific Wharf, Pixar Pier, Paradise Gardens Park, Hollywood Land, Cars Land, and Avengers Campus. Each land offers a unique experience, with attractions, shows, and dining options themed around various Disney and Pixar stories.

Disneyland California is a world of its own, with over 60 incredible attractions, magical parades, and world-renowned treats. As you make your way into the park, take in the small-town nostalgia of Main Street USA with its horse-drawn carriages, tasty treat shops, and Dapper Dans crooning your favorite classic tunes. From there, head straight through Sleeping Beauty’s castle into Fantasyland, where most visitors can enjoy classic Disneyland rides like the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction, It’s a Small World attraction, and Mad Tea Party attraction.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you won’t want to miss a visit to the newest land in the park, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Fly the Millenium Falcon on a smuggling mission, or create your very own droid friend at the Droid Depot. Keep exploring a galaxy far, far away in Tomorrowland where you can launch into the cosmos on the Space Mountain attraction or help Buzz beat Zurg on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction.

The fun continues throughout the other unique lands you’ll find within the park, such as Adventureland, Critter Country, Frontierland, Mickey’s Toontown, and New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Park vs Walt Disney World: Size

Disney World in Florida is significantly larger than Disneyland in California. The entire Walt Disney World Resort spans approximately 25,000 acres, or about 39 square miles. This includes four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), two water parks, over 20 resort hotels, golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues.

It’s important to note that while Disney World is larger in terms of physical size, both resorts offer a wide range of attractions, dining, and entertainment options. The choice between the two often comes down to personal preference, travel convenience, and the specific experiences each resort offers.

Bottom Line

Disneyland California is a magical destination that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for families. With its convenient location in Southern California, it’s easily accessible whether you’re flying in from afar or driving from a nearby city. The park’s size and layout make it easy to navigate, and with two amazing theme parks to explore, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags, plan your route, and get ready for an adventure that’s sure to create lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which city is Disneyland in California?

Disneyland is located in the city of Anaheim, in Orange County, California.

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Is Disneyland in Los Angeles or San Diego?

Disneyland is located in Anaheim, which is closer to Los Angeles. It’s about 26 miles from Los Angeles and about 96 miles from San Diego.

Where in LA is Disneyland located?

Disneyland is not located in Los Angeles itself, but in Anaheim. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Los Angeles without traffic.

What is located in California Disneyland or Disney World?

Disneyland is located in California, specifically in Anaheim. Disney World is located in Florida, near Orlando.

How do you get from Los Angeles to Disneyland without a car?

There are several options for getting from Los Angeles to Disneyland without a car. You can take a shuttle service, use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, or use public transportation. The Los Angeles Metro offers bus and rail services that can get you close to Disneyland, and from there, you can take the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) shuttle.

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